Author: Mia Sheridan
Series: Sign of Love #7
Release Date: January 24, 2015
Dirt poor. Hillbilly. Backwoods hick. Mountain folk.
Tenleigh Falyn struggles each day to survive in a small, poverty-stricken, coal mining town where she lives with her sister and mentally ill mother. Her dream of winning the college scholarship given to one student by the local coal company and escaping the harshness of her life, keeps her going.
Kyland Barrett lives in the hills, too, and has worked tirelessly—through near starvation, through deep loneliness, against all odds—to win the Tyton Coal Scholarship and leave the town that is full of so much pain.
They’re both determined not to form any attachments, but one moment changes everything. What happens when only one person gets to win? When only one person gets to leave? And what happens to the one left behind?
Kyland is a story of desperation and hope, loss and sacrifice, pain and forgiveness, but ultimately, a story of deep and unending love.
Mia Sheridan serves up yet another breathtaking novel in the Sign of Love series with Kyland. A poignant tale of loss, love and sacrifice, Tenleigh and Kyland’s journey was as unexpected as it was heart wrenching. Mia Sheridan explores humanity at its most basic in a world where poverty is commonplace, every day is a struggle for survival, and emotions like love and hope are dangerous and rare. From the first page to the last I was captivated – caught up in the vibrant imagery, colorful characters and lyrical prose of this story. I fell hard and fast for Tenleigh and Kyland, their inexplicable connection giving way to an addictive chemistry and sweet devotion that ruled my heart and left a lasting impression. The things that tied this couple together – their histories of heartache, fierce determination, and hard-earned success – made them utterly unique from any fictional pairing I’ve encountered before and ensured that I was wholly invested in Tenleigh and Kyland’s happily ever after.
“Sometimes my life felt so small. And I had to wonder why those of us who were given small lives, still had to feel pain so big. It hardly seemed fair.”
Tenleigh was a girl after my own heart. Her love of learning was something I could easily appreciate while her use of reading as an escape from the harsh realities of her life really hit home with me. I absolutely loved getting to know this shy and lovable girl, enjoying her close relationship with her sister and cheering her on as she worked towards a better life. Kyland was a little harder to peg at first, his seemingly cocky attitude difficult to make sense of and his relationships with other girls uncertain. However, as Kyland and Tenleigh got to know one another, I found myself in awe of the depth that Mia Sheridan gave these characters. Tenleigh’s family and their shared view of men had me curious while Kyland’s home situation and apparent desperation to leave their small town behind absolutely intrigued me. I adored getting to explore the complexities of these characters as their relationship developed and they came unraveled. I was surprised several times over by the truths they were able to share and the emotions these secrets stirred in me. Mia Sheridan did a phenomenal job at developing Tenleigh and Kyland, keeping me hooked on both their individual and joint growth and ensuring that they left an indelible mark.
“I wished I had known that it was dangerous for girls like us to pretend to be princesses. In that moment, dreaming of anything felt dangerous. Dreams failed, and when they did, reality hurt that much more.”
In true Mia Sheridan fashion, my heart was put through the wringer several times over before all was said and done. Tenleigh and Kyland’s story was not clean or pretty or nice. It was raw, gritty and unapologetically honest – the kind of story that doesn’t pull any punches and demands to be felt all the way through. Kyland struck me hard, making me think and feel in ways I never expected to. Mia Sheridan has an unparalleled gift for understanding the human condition and allowing her readers to experience every nuance of that insight as they read her stories. Kyland was certainly no exception and at times, I swear I could feel the hunger, cold and utter hopelessness that surrounded the characters of this book. Their plight became my own and by the time I’d turned the final page, I felt like I had truly learned something from Tenleigh and Kyland. With each new novel, Mia Sheridan continues to impress. Kyland exemplified this author’s gift for crafting socially relevant and undeniably enchanting storylines, capturing delightful personalities and genuine emotional upheaval, and delivering love in its boldest, purest and most unselfish of forms. Heartbreaking, captivating and full of feels, Kyland is another absolute must read from Mia Sheridan!
I’m continuing to make my way through the Signs of Love standalones, and each time I think Mia Sheridan can’t top a release, she goes and leaves me in shock and awe. Kyland pulls readers into the mountains of Kentucky where she weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, sacrifice and hardship. The characters left their mark in my heart and the storyline was one that I could relate to on numerous levels. Though I have loved many novels from Sheridan, Kyland will forever hold a very special place in my heart.
“I think about how that little fire is hope. I think about how you have to keep it burning to get you through the hard times, the times that seem so painful you don’t want to continue on.”
Kyland and Tenleigh are two incredibly different personalities, yet are rooted in similar wishes and desires. I fell quickly for the tenacity and drive that they each presented, and I found myself only falling deeper as their journey continued. I admired Tenleigh’s desire to better the environment for those around her; she wore her heart on her sleeve and how can you not love a heroine who does that? Kyland was such a force of nature that didn’t want to let anyone in. He had been burned by the world, which left him focused on how to change his circumstances. There was something about him, from the very first look he gave Tenleigh that burned into me. I knew he had a story and I couldn’t wait to get each piece of it.
“I think that when enough time has passed, when you’ve survived that which you didn’t imagine you could, there’s a dignity in that. Something you can own. A pride in knowing the pain made you stronger. The pain made you fight to succeed.”
I will admit that this storyline resonated deeply with me, so I instantly formed a deep connection to it. From dealing with a sick parent to overcoming the obstacles that are out of our control, everything that this couple went through reminded me of how far I have come in my own life. It allowed me to relate to the characters and their plights in a way that I don’t often get to. I could feel my heart weeping in sympathy, creating a deep desire to hug these characters and tell them that everything would be okay. The ending was a bit abrupt for my personal taste, but Kyland was still a story that gave me all the feels.
“But if time didn’t heal all wounds, at least it made them bearable. And I’d survived.”
Mia Sheridan is honestly a literary goddess. Whether she’s writing about fictional cults, the recluse neighbor, or a coal-mining town in the mountains of the Appalachian, she transports readers in the most visceral way. The storytelling alone creates an experience in her books every single time. I’m kicking myself for waiting for so long to begin diving in, yet also incredibly glad that I can binge read them through. If you haven’t read a book by this talented author yet, she is a must, and I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed!
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Don’t miss the rest of the Sign of Love series:
Leo (Sign of Love #1)
Leo’s Chance (Sign of Love #2)
Stinger (Sign of Love #3)
Archer’s Voice (Sign of Love #4)
Becoming Calder (Sign of Love #5)
Finding Eden (Sign of Love #6)
Grayson’s Vow (Sign of Love #8)
Midnight Lily (Sign of Love #9)
Ramsay (Sign of Love #10)
Preston’s Honor (Sign of Love #11)